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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Three Software Solutions for the Development of a DDI-based Survey Catalogue

Caporali, Arianna

To facilitate data discovery, data accessibility and data reusability, it is key to develop data catalogues that use DDI as a framework for harmonized metadata and for complete data documentation. It is also important to implement software capable of enhancing DDI potentials to locate and explore the data. What characteristics should these software solutions meet? What criteria should be used to evaluate different tools?

This paper presents a comparison between three different tools, i.e., NADA Microdata Cataloging Tool, Dataverse and Colectica Repository, conducted at the DataLab of the French Institute for Demographic Studies (INED). We need to replace Nesstar, the software we used so far, that is being discontinued. The new tool should allow to promote our socio-demographic surveys among the largest scientific community, targeting both expert and non-expert users. This tool should require limited IT support, be compliant with DDI-Codebook and compatible with PROGEDO-Quetelet Diffusion, the French social science data portal. Based on the specific needs of INED catalogue, we report on our evaluation and on the pros and cons of each tool considered. We also discuss the benefits of software making use of DDI-Lifecycle for our longitudinal surveys. We conclude with the reasons that will make our choice.

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